Maya Angelou was a memoirist, poet, and activist, but more significantly, she was a keen, measured public voice of a kind that is increasingly rare in this ever widening, ever more shallow puddle that is early 21st century American culture. That she became the iconic figure and social force she was is all the more remarkable when one thinks of the place and time from which she rose.
Whereas many in her position chose self-preservation through silence, Angelou chose to stand, and with that remarkable—unforgettable--voice with its deep cello-like timbre and crystalline diction, to speak. Her literary voice, too, had those striking, singular qualities. She told truths unblinkingly and without apology as only the bravest among us can. Yet, she was also possessed of a lyric poet's descriptive and emotive sensibility. She was a rare talent, but a rarer human being. She never stopped striving to define herself and her place in the world and in so doing she made clear a good many truths about us as a nation. We are poorer for her passing, but far richer than before.
New York Times obituary .
By Maya Angelou
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings 
Gather Together in My Name 
Singin' and Swingin' and Gettin' Merry Like Christmas 
The Heart of a Woman 
All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes 
A Song Flung Up to Heaven 
And Still I Rise 
Black Pearls  [sound recording]
Celebrations: Rituals of Peace and Prayer 
The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou 
Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'fore I Diiie 
Life Doesn't Frighten Me 
The Maya Angelou Poetry Collection  [sound recording]
On Pulse of Morning 
Phenomenal Women 
Soul Looks Back in Wonder 
Other works  by and about Maya Angelou